Is there a way for an application to turn off / dim the display, and then turn it back on again later?
A quick hack to achieve this effect would be to create a full-screen borderless window at the topmost level (see NSWindowLevel) and fill it completely with a black rectangle.
A better way of doing it, however, would be to access the MacOSX API for controlling the display itself. It’s called CGDirectDisplay and you can find out more about it here: http://developer.apple.com/technotes/tn/tn2007.html (the only disadvantage of CGDirectDisplay is that it’s not Cocoa, it’s straight C).
Thanks! I’ll try that out.